Oryema

 

Night To Night space
Geoffrey Oryema  

62357 Real World 


There's a quiet, contemplative side to African music, and it is from this lineage that Geoffrey Oryema's music emerges. Although his musical roots lie in Uganda, his work has been inspired by a myriad of influences, including those from other regions of Africa, a complete understanding of Western pop music and the need to define his own unique musical identity. Singing in both English and Acholi, Geoffrey possesses a silky-smooth, sumptuous voice that can flow from lower to upper registers like water. His songs range from moody ballads to tender soul musings - an orchestral mix of organic and electronic music.
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His third album NIGHT TO NIGHT, plays like a 24-hour daydream induced by the fleeting, idyllic memory of late nights in the bars of Kampala where everything seems possible. One daydream leads to another in a round of songs setting the music to Geoffrey's entire life - from the memory of warm and colorful childhood evenings in the Ugandan countryside to the grief of old wounds inflicted by the brutal regime forced upon his country in his youth.
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Geoffrey's music is as affecting as his personal history. Growing up in war-torn Uganda during the height of Idi Amin's Reign of Terror, Geoffrey was the son of a governmental minister. Every night as a child in Kampala, Geoffrey would sit by his father's side and listen to him playing the nanga, a seven-string harp. He was lucky enough to grow up absorbing both the folk music of his culture through traditional routes and Western techniques through his schooling. However his family's position in Uganda's ruling class proved disastrous. In February 1977, at the age of twenty-four, Geoffrey's father was secretly assassinated and Geoffrey was forced to spend hours in the trunk of a car until he crossed the border safely into Kenya. Today, exiled in France, Oryema has emerged as the one of the most respected songwriters in Paris.
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His previous two Real World albums have been hailed by critics as near-perfect documentations of a musical genius. EXILE, produced by Brian Eno and featuring Peter Gabriel on backing vocals, is a deeply affecting, introspective piece. Geoffrey's sophomore release, BEAT THE BORDER, surrounds Oryema's soothing vocals with a spacious and virginal bed of synthesized and acoustic sounds. It was with BEAT THE BORDER that Geoffrey became one of the first world musicians to crossover into mainstream markets. Spending twelve weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard World Music Chart, it was also one of the first world music albums to chart on commerical Adult Radio. Geoffrey has performed on NBC's Today Show, on the WOMAD 1993 and 1994 U.S. Tours, the 1994 Reebok Human Rights Awards and the 1995 Rainforest Foundation International Benefit.

 

Exile
Exile
Beat the Border
Beat the Border

 

 

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